Religious leaders, scientists, or even a hen (or so it seemed) have been making predictions for the end of the world almost as long as the world has been around.
2012 Maya Apocalypse
December 21, 2012, marked he end of the first “Great Cycle” of the Maya Long Count calendar. Many misinterpreted this to mean an absolute end to the calendar, … and doomsday predictions emerged.
Among the most prolific modern predictors of end times, Harold Camping has publicly predicted the end of the world as many as 12 times based [on] his interpretations of biblical numerology.
Taiwanese religious leader Hon-Ming Chen established Chen Tao, or True Way, a religious movement that blended elements of Christianity, Buddhism, UFO conspiracy theories, and Taiwanese folk religion. Chen preached that God would appear on U.S. television channel 18 on March 25, 1988, to announce that he would descend to Earth the following week in a physical form identical to Chen.
Halley’s Comet Panic
Halley’s Comet passes by the earth approximately 76 years, but the nearness of its approach in 1910 created fear that it would destroy the planet, either by celestial collision or through the poisonous gases it was rumored to contain.
Religious leader William Miller began preaching in 1831 that the end of the world as we know it would occur with the second coming of Jesus Christ in 1843. He attracted as many as 100,000 followers who believed that they would be carried off to heaven when the date arrived.
Beginning when she was 42 years old, Joanna Southcott reported hearing voices that predicted future events, including the crop failures and famines of 1799 and 1800. She began publishing her own books and eventually developed a following of as many as 100,000 believers.
The Prophet Hen of Leeds
In 1806, a domesticated hen in Leeds, England, appeared to lay eggs with the message “Christ is coming.” It was soon discovered, however, that the eggs were not in fact prophetic messages but the work of their owner, who had been writing on the eggs in corrosive ink and reinserting them into the poor hen’s body.
Great Fire of London
Because the Bible calls 666 the number of the Beast, many Christians in 17th-century Europe feared the end of the world in the year 1666. The Great London Fire, which lasted from September 2 to September 5 of that year, destroyed much of the city, including 87 parish churches and about 13,000 houses. Many saw it as a fulfillment of the end of the world prophecy.
The Great Flood
Johannes Stöffler, a respected mathematician and astrologer, predicted that a great flood would cover the world on February 25, 1524, when all of the known planets would be in alignment under Pisces, a water sign.
Montanism, a 2nd century schismatic movement of Christianity, began in Phrygia (modern Turkey). Based on the visions of Montanus, who claimed to speak under the influence of the Spirit.
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica